Journal article
Agent-based modeling of the diffusion of environmental innovations - An empirical approach

Publication Details
Schwarz, N.; Ernst, A.
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Technological Forecasting and Social Change
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This paper presents an agent-based model of the diffusion of water-saving innovations. The empirical foundation of this model is a study, which was carried out for that specific purpose. As an example case, the diffusion of three water-related innovations in Southern Germany was chosen. The model represents a real geographic area and simulates the diffusion of showerheads, toilet flushes, and rain-harvesting systems. Agents are households of certain lifestyles, as represented by the Sinus-Milieus (R) from commercial Marketing. Agents use two different kinds of decision rules to decide upon adoption or rejection of the modeled innovations: A cognitively demanding deliberate decision rule and a very simple decision heuristic. Thus, the model integrates concepts of bounded rationality. The overall framework for decision-making is the Theory of Planned Behavior, which has been elaborated using innovation characteristics from diffusion research. The model was calibrated with empirical data stemming from a questionnaire survey and validated against independent data. Scenarios for the nearer future show that water-saving innovations will diffuse even without further promotion, and different promotion strategies that relate specifically to both innovations and lifestyles can be pointed out. (C) 2008 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Agent-based model, Innovation diffusion, Survey, Water saving


Last updated on 2019-25-07 at 16:54